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The DHS List of Dirty Words for Social Media...

I just checked out grandma’s Facebook wall post about the cruise she’s taking:  “We got quarantined to our cabin by the ship’s disaster management team. I’m sure it’s just food poisoning, but the ship’s doctor is focused on preventing the exposure of the other passengers to a virus or bacteria infection that might cause an explosive epidemic of sick people.” Apparently, the DHS just checked out the post too and flagged grandma as an item of interest. Although the post – and grandma – are fake, the fact that  is real. (Grandma put 10 keywords in her post.) Thanks to a freedom of information act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), now we can all read...

The DHS List of Dirty Words for Social Media
posted on: Feb 29, 2012 | author: privacycast

Target: Creepy… Tracking Intimate Details About Shoppers...

A man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and angrily demanded to see the manager. In his hand were coupons that Target had sent to his daughter. “My daughter got this in the mail! She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?” The local Target manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again, but the father was much more conciliatory. “There’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.” How did they know details about this girl that even her father wasn’t privy to yet? The...

Target: Creepy… Tracking Intimate Details About Shoppers
posted on: Feb 17, 2012 | author: privacycast

Google Bypasses Safari Privacy Settings...

Google (and other advertisers) have found workarounds that allow them to bypass some of the privacy/anti-tracking functionality in Safari. They have been making use of those workarounds to better track and monitor user habits so they can serve more relevant advertisements. Shortly after the Wall Street Journal broke the story, Google stopped leveraging the technique (though it’s still in fairly wide use among other online advertisers.) This is a cat-and-mouse game that will never really end– users want fine-grained privacy controls, and want to be able to prevent companies from tracking their online usage. Advertisers want to be able to gain deeper and deeper insights into users to allow them to serve more relevant (and hence profitable) advertisements...

Google Bypasses Safari Privacy Settings
posted on: Feb 17, 2012 | author: privacycast

(Don’t) Do It for the Children

How could any politician vote against “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers?” That’s what H.R. 1981 Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 purports to do. However, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has a much more accurate name for the bill: “Keep Every American’s Digital Data for Submission to the Federal Government without a Warrant Act.” Sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) of SOPA fame is attacking our 1st and 4th amendment rights again. (One wonders if he operates out of complete cluelessness or a personal vendetta against the Bill of Rights?) Along with 29 other co-sponsors, H.R. 1981 has already made it out of committee and is on the schedule for a House vote despite protests from the ACLU, the Electronic...

(Don’t) Do It for the Children
posted on: Feb 13, 2012 | author: privacycast

CIA Wages Spycraft War on WikiLeaks

Clandestine cellphones, meetings in darkened doorways… the stuff of spy movies, or reporters interacting with WikiLeaks contacts? The New York Times has an interesting read about the lengths reporters have to go to safely work with sources at the popular online whistle-blowing outfit, and the high-tech war being waged by the U.S. and global intelligence community against WikiLeaks: “In a second case, against Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer accused of providing classified information to another Times reporter, James Risen, for a 2006 book, the government has been more aggressive, insisting that Mr. Risen must testify. He has refused to say anything about confidential matters, and Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va.,...

CIA Wages Spycraft War on WikiLeaks
posted on: Feb 13, 2012 | author: privacycast

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